Generation Rent, which typically attacks all landlords and especially those involved in buy to let, has instead focussed its latest social media attacks on holiday lets.It says on Twitter: “Holiday lets are already more lucrative than tenancies – in holiday hotspots landlords can make the same income from a summer of tourists as a whole year of tenants. But holiday lets also get tax breaks and face very little regulation compared with private tenancies.“To get the balance between locals and tourists right the government must give holiday lets the same oversight and tax treatment as private rented homes. That means: Scrapping mortgage interest relief; Local licensing schemes with caps; Powers to charge more council tax on holiday homes.
“The government must also fund more permanently affordable homes to rent and buy in tourist hotspots. By making these changes it will be easier to incentivise second home owners into releasing their grip on housing and help locals find the homes they need.”It then goes on to say that in recent weeks the government has promised to give councils powers to charge second homes higher council tax, and is consulting on the idea of introducing a register of tourist accommodation.But the activist campaign says this still isn’t enough, and tweets: “We still need action on the tax loophole that makes it more profitable to rent to tourists, not tenants.”
It then links to a year-old online petition calling for mortgage tax relief – which holiday let landlords are entitled to but private rental landlords are not – to be scrapped.
An earlier tweet by Generation Rent claims that there are nearly 300,000 holiday homes in Great Britain, including second homes and commercial holiday lets, and says that while nationally this number is “not huge” around half of second homes are located in 40 local authorities, which means they have a big impact on the supply of homes.